Halloween Writing Competition Results 2023

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Haunted Bus Halloween

Hello and welcome to the results of our Halloween writing contest 2023, in conjunction with Ocarina Player in Italy and Bloom La Radio Des Enfants in France. These are the English results. They are all so good that I’m going squeeze in as many stories as I can into this programme. Sit back and be afraid, very afraid.

Holiday Writing Competition

And send us your Holiday Stories! Get them to us by end of Christmas Eve, December 24, and we will read out as many as we can between Christmas and New Year. Write us a story about a Magical Holiday. Give us your age, roughly where you live and try to keep the story fairly short. Send to Bertie at storynory.com marked "Holiday Writing Competition".

More of your pictures coming soon ..

Sakshi's picture inspired our cover art/

haunted bus
Haunted Bus by Sakshi

Anushka haunted houe
Haunted House by Anushka

I’m going to start with Clara the Secret Witch by Lydia from Idaho.

There was once a witch. She belonged to a club for witches and wizards. One day she was in her kitchen making toad stew for her witch meeting. Her watch beeped. "Time to go," She cackled. So she took the handle of the pot that the toad stew was in and walked over to the little building that had been abandoned and now used for the witches and wizards meeting. She walked in. There were about ten rows of benches. There was also a table at the back with other kinds of food. There was eyeball salsa, a mushroom cake, and a pot of worm spaghetti. The witch set her stew on the table beside the others and sat down in an empty space by a wizard with a big red beard. The lady who ran the meeting was at the front. The lady began to speak:

"Now that we are all here I have decided we should do something evil since we are all witches and wizards. Let’s make candy for kids with poison in it."

"Hey!" said the witch, "you never said we would do any evil!"
"Well I do now," said the lady. Then I'm leaving and never coming back!" shouted the witch loudly. So she never went to the meeting again.

Later she married a human man and had a child named Clara.

A few weeks after Clara was born, the witch decided to go for a walk. She accidentally crossed paths with the witch who ran the club. "You are the witch who disagreed with me!" The witch in charge of the club said. The witch gulped. Then the witch in charge of the club put a spell on her known as a freezing spell on her and walked away. So Clara and her dad lived together.

When Clara turned five, She invited all of her friends and ate her birthday dinner happily. After dinner Clara heard a strange humming noise. She must have been the only one who heard it because nobody was acting very strange. Clara silently crept to where the noise came from. She climbed through a picture frame, and then through a magic mirror.

Clara found herself in a dark room with her mom. Her mom's body was under a spell, but her mind and spirit were in the dark room. Clara was speechless, but her mom exclaimed, "How did you get here?!"

Meanwhile Clara's dad was worried. He looked for Clara, and when he couldn't find her, he opened the picture frame. He was curious, so he went in. Inside, he found the mirror lying on the ground. He looked into it. Suddenly, Clara's dad got sucked in. Since he did not know any magic, he turned into a big, huge ape-like monster. There was a big "GLUMP!" and then nobody knew what happened.

And that’s where the story of Clara the Secret Witch ends - on a very dramatic note ! Thank you Lydia for that amazing story which you wrote by hand! We particularly enjoyed the details about the weird food and the witches’ meeting.

And our next story is By Eliam, who 10 years from the state of Oregon, USA. It’s called In Grave Danger, which you will soon see is a word-pun . Warming - it features scary Zombies ! He’s suggested various noises and sound effects along the way.

Once upon a time, there was a house near the edge of town, where there was a graveyard. One day, a boy named Jimmy was playing outside when from the graveyard he heard strange noises. (Scary noises) Then he heard clawing noises. (Clawing noises) He looked over the wall into the graveyard and saw a hand wriggling in the dirt. Suddenly, with a tremendous scream (screaming noise) a zombie burst out from under the ground! “Brains… BRAINS!!!” the zombie moaned as it turned and lurched in Jimmy’s direction. Jimmy ran into the town calling, “Zombie! Zombie!” with the zombie in hot pursuit. (Running and slamming sounds) Villagers came out of their houses to see what the commotion was all about. Immediately, one was bitten by the zombie, and in a horrible transformation, became a zombie himself. Jimmy ran for the royal palace, where he knew help could be found.

Jimmy burst into the palace, tore past the guards, and ran straight into the throne room. “Who is this impudent boy!” yelled the king.

“Please! Please, your majesty, the kingdom is in terrible danger! I must speak to the royal wizard!” replied Jimmy. The king could plainly see that the boy was terrified, and decided that he had better take him seriously. The king gave orders that the royal wizard should be summoned immediately.

The wizard, an extremely old man with an extremely long silver beard wearing his pajamas and fluffy bunny slippers shuffled into the room. “Wha.. what’s… what’s happened? What’s going on?”

Jimmy shouted, “My lord! My wizard! The kingdom is under attack by zombies!”

The wizard stretched and yawned, “I’m annoyed that you interrupted my 18 hours of beauty sleep, but since I’m already awake, yes, I will help you.”

Jimmy begged, “Please let me help! This is my village too! The people I love and care about are being zombified!”

The wizard extended a glowing finger and touched Jimmy on the nose. An electric shock flowed into Jimmy and his body glowed for a few seconds. He felt all tingly. The wizard whispered, “You now have the power to fight the zombies. But only until midnight. Then your powers will disappear and you will be as you were before.”

By now, half the villagers had been turned into zombies. Each villager was bitten, changed, and then bit someone else. Jimmy and the wizard used their powers to turn everybody back to normal. Suddenly Jimmy realised that he couldn’t find the wizard. The wizard had been bitten! Now it was up to Jimmy to save the village!

Jimmy began dueling with the wizard zombie. Jimmy was young and spry, but inexperienced with his powers. The wizard was old and zombified, but still very, very skilled. The two seemed evenly matched as they shot spells back and forth at each other. Suddenly, church bells rang out in the distance (Bells ringing) It was just a few seconds before midnight! Jimmy knew he only had one more shot. With a great effort that took all of his strength, he shook and gave one magical blast in an orb that covered the whole town. The wizard was cured, and so was everyone in the village. Jimmy was a hero!

Well thank you Elliam for that scary Zombie story! We loved all the action.

And a quick mention to Sophie Lin, who wrote about her Sister Ella staying at home to hand out candy to the Trick or Treaters, and she gets a fright when some real Halloween spirits visit her!
Sophie sent us a picture which we are including on the website.

And Preeti, who is 10 years old, sent us a story from India called .
The ghost of Kailashwati. It’s tragic and creepy. I’m going to give you a summary .

In the village of Rampur, a couple, Ramlal and Kailashwati, desperate for a child, sought the help of a tantrik who lived in the first. A tantrik is a kind of spiritual adviser. On the way there, Kailashwati tragically drowned in a well, and her vengeful spirit haunted the vicinity. The fearful villagers sought the tantrik's guidance. On a moonless night, he performed a ritual by the well, attempting to free her spirit. Recognizing Kailashwati's yearning for her unborn child, the tantrik brought forth a boy, who communicated with her spirit. Addressing her as his mother, he expressed his love and wished for her peace, imploring her to leave and not haunt the villagers. Kailashwati's spirit, touched by the child's words, disappeared, bringing peace to Rampur.

Thank you Preeti for that spooky story. We loved the plot. I hope you don’t mind taht we read the shortened version.

Zara Bhavya Shah sent us a story called the Spectral Scholar - Here’ the setup

On Halloween at Rosewood High School, year 7 students are excited for the Halloween disco after school. Ezra Sharma, dressed as a clown, joins his friends Lyla Campbell, Ophelia Moore (dressed as a pumpkin), and Otto Driscoll (dressed as a ghost). Julian Palmer, a classmate who thinks he's too mature for Halloween, taunts them. He then shares a story of a ghost named Samantha, the "Spectral Scholar," who haunts the school on Halloween …. Do you think that Samantha the Spectral Scholar is Real! Or are you a Skeptic?

Thank you Zara I enjoyed reading your story.

And a quick shout out to Koan who sent us a story about woodland fungus turning into rampaging monsters with gloopy, yellow teeth and slimy, green eyes.

WE had six entries from Richard Avenue Elementary. This is one is by Kinsley

Hi, I'm the witch, and my name is Cora. I like to make smoky drinks that are spooky. When I see kids, I like to tell them to drink my smoky drinks. When they do, they turn into mean witches like me! I send them back home, and it is so funny, hahaha.

I have a friend named Spooky Boy Witch, and he loves to do what I do. Hahaha!

My pet is a ghost dog. It says "boo" and barks outside. Kids are scared of my house because it's scary. I felt sad about this, so I put a table out there with candles and pumpkins. My husband is a spooky pumpkin tree. Kids think we are weird, but we are not, ma'am, hahaha.
My jack-o-lanterns can talk, and when they do, all the little kids scream and yell. Just like this kid right now: "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Hahaha, that is so funny to me!

As for myself, I love to scare kids, and when I do, they're not happy. I have my eyes set on this smart, "ugly" boy named Jack. I plan to spook him today, hahaha. He won't be smart anymore!

I have a wolf tied up at the front of my house. It's hilarious because it almost got someone's candy. One boy even tried to pet it and almost got hurt, but he got away. After that, there was no more Halloween, and that was sad for all the kids who came by my house. But it was a funny meme for my whole family; we laughed so much that the house was shaking side to side! "AHHHHHHHHHH!" We yelled loudly, like lions.

A little girl then told us, "You are not nice," and no more kids came by after that. Hahaha!

Thanks Kinsley, you’ve got a wild imagination and a great sense of humour. And also thanks to your classmates

Ian , LilyAnn, Allison Cora and Jah for sending us your stories from the 4th grade at Richard Avenue Elementary School, in Ohio, USA. We enjoyed all your stories.

Now if you are as frightened of snakes as I am, you might want to put your fingers in your ears for the next story.

And we really enjoyed JACK AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE by Kaius who will be 7 years old just 10 days after Halloween. As time is short, I’m just going to read you the scariest passage from inside the castle!

Jack pulls out his flashlight and finds that there are snakes everywhere. There is a green anaconda hanging upside down from the shelves on the walls. There are black mambas all over
the floor. There is a giant boa constrictor curled up on a lower shelf. Jack even notices that there is a pit viper in the middle of the floor, staring at him. Jack also sees a skeleton key on the
other side of the room, and thinks it might come in handy.
Jack heads across the room to get the key, but the pit viper is about to strike.

Jack dodges the viper and then the green anaconda wakes up. It sees Jack and slithers down the shelves towards him. The green anaconda bumps into the boa constrictor. The boa constrictor becomes angry. All the black mambas wake up and all slither towards Jack. Jack quickly runs to get the skeleton key, and then runs out of that room, but the snakes slither after him.

Jack runs down the hallway and finds another door which brings him to a different room. The room is damp, dark, and smells like fish. Jack finds a pond in the room. There are Alligators,
but that is not the worst thing he will find in this castle. His flashlight gets water in it and the batteries don’t work anymore. It is now very dark.

EHUUUU! Well I hate snakes but I love that Story… made my flesh creep.

Thank you Kaius and a big shout-out to your little sister Finleigh who is 4 and sent us a story about two cats, Lucy and Padfoot - and a lovely picture of the cats which we are publishing.

Our next spooky story starts more gently and builds up. It’s by Aadhya from Austin, Texas.

Rebecca had always loved Halloween. The excitement of dressing up in costumes and indulging in sweet treats filled her with joy. This year, she was determined to find a costume that would make her stand out from the crowd. As she strolled through the aisles of the new Halloween store called 'Odds and Ends', Rebecca's eyes widened with delight. There were countless options to choose from—witches, ghosts, superheroes, and most importantly, vampires. She was immediately drawn to a box containing a set of vampire teeth, a cape with a hood, and what appeared to be a tiny pack of fake blood. The package was alluring, with its dark and mysterious design. Rebecca couldn't resist the temptation and decided to purchase it. Little did she know that this seemingly innocent purchase would lead her on an unexpected and thrilling adventure.

That evening, Rebecca eagerly opened the box. She carefully placed the vampire fangs in her mouth, admiring her reflection in the mirror. They fit perfectly, giving her an eerie and captivating appearance. Excited to complete her transformation, Rebecca turned her attention to the packet of fake blood. However, to her surprise, the packet was unusually thick and refused to open. Frustration began to creep in, but Rebecca was determined not to let it dampen her spirit. In a moment of impulsive decision, she decided to use her teeth to tear open the packet. As the plastic gave way, a small amount of red fluid splashed into her mouth. It tasted strangely like ketchup, which brought a smile to Rebecca's face. She loved ketchup, and the unexpected flavor only added to the authenticity of the vampire experience.

Unable to resist the temptation, Rebecca tilted her head back and gulped down the remaining contents of the packet. But as the last drop slid down her throat, a sudden wave of unease washed over her. The taste of ketchup vanished, replaced by a metallic tang that sent shivers down her spine. Rebecca's heart raced as she realized something was wrong. Panic set in as she felt a strong sensation coursing through her veins. Her vision blurred, and she stumbled backward, clutching her chest. The room seemed to spin around her as she struggled to catch her breath. Within seconds, Rebecca's body underwent a terrifying transformation. Her skin grew pale, her eyes turned a deep crimson, and her once-beating heart fell silent. She had unwittingly unleashed a curse upon herself, transforming into a vampire.

And Aadhya tells us that if she had more time, she would have written more - but we thought that was a good ending! It was really well written. Thank you. Aadhya.

Our next story is by Armand Gros, aged 7.

Chapter 1 In the Forest
In a forest everything was fine.

Chapter 2

Cccccccccccrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash! [Tree falling sound effect]

It was Jake. He had an ultimate hammer!

Chapter 3

Peter knocked on doors to ask for help. The people planted seeds for new trees.

The end.

Thank you Armond - for that concise storytelling! And it suggested a great sound effect. And thank you to your brother Fionntan for his story about Knights.

And now for a little music, in this story by Ashrith, who is 13.

Once on a cool October evening, amid falling leaves and dimming twilight, two friends, Nico and Leo, found themselves drawn to the edge of Whispering Woods. Legends spoke of the forest being home to eerie whispers and unsettled spirits, but Leo, always sceptical, saw it as just tales.

As they ventured deeper, the moonlight cast long shadows over the twisted trees. Branches crunched underfoot, the only sound in the quiet woods.

The further they walked, the colder the air grew, with whispers blending with the rustling leaves. Suddenly, a soft, haunting melody played, making them shiver. They looked at each other.

"Did you hear that, Nico?" Leo whispered.

Following the melody, they discovered an old, overgrown graveyard with a decaying mansion. Its windows shimmered with a strange light, and the tune seemed to emanate from within.

"Do you think a ghost's playing?" Nico pondered, doubt creeping in.

Leo, wide-eyed, admitted, "I've always been a sceptic, but this is unsettling."

Bracing themselves, they neared the mansion. With every step, the tune felt more enchanting. Pushing the creaky door open, they saw a dusty grand hall. At its centre was a piano, its keys moving on their own. The phantom pianist was unseen, but its presence was undeniable.

The two friends shared a glance, then sat at the piano, letting their fingers join the ghostly tune. As they played, the room came alive with shadows dancing gracefully.

Nico looked at Leo, smiling. "It seems, Leo, even sceptics can find wonder in unexpected places."

Hmm, thank you Ashrith, that’s an atmospheric story.

And thank you to Anika in Ontario who sent us a funny story called The White Lady, a ghost who hitched a ride on the back of a bicycle.

And a Quick mention to Olivia ,6 years old, in Ontario who sent us a story about two girls called Amy and Amelia who sneek out on their own for Halloween…. Here’s just a very short extract:

Just then, there was a vampire with Saber teeth. And it was so scary. It almost made Amelia faint! They ran but whenever they looked, it was there! Then it shape-shifted into a snake with a Saber teeth too! It was about to bite Amelia when Amy punched it! Whack! Right in the face! Slam! It was so angry!

I’m glad to say the story ends happily. Thank you Olivia for that lively story about two very spirited young girls.

Next up is a story by Daphne from New Mexico, in the USA, and it’s called Repeat.


"Trick-or-treat!" I called out as the door swung open, revealing a sweet old lady wearing a witch hat. The bucket of candy she held was labelled: "WISH CANDY." Handing us each a sparkly candy, she called out "Use it to make a wish!" I thanked her and walked on.

Later that night, I crawled into my bed and settled down. "Good night!" my parents called to me, shutting the door. I smiled and pulled my candy out from under my bed, because I was very naughty. I reached in the bag and pulled out a random candy. When I held it up to the moonlight, I saw that it was the wish candy. I unwrapped it, popped it into my mouth, and made a wish to the moon. "I want Halloween to go on forever, the same every day."

I woke up with a gasp, remembering the wish I made last night. Running to the kitchen, I found all of our candy still there, and the decorations gone. "Aww, it didn't work," I sighed. My brother Charlie poked his head around the corner, "What didn't work? Happy Halloween! Let's put out our decorations," he said, jumping up and down.

Walking into school, I saw everyone dressed up and munching on candy. "Hi, Daphne," said Sara, my friend from class. "Hi Sara, would you want to go trick-or-treating with me tonight?" I asked. "Of course! But would it be fine if I slept over?" she questioned. "Yes!" I told her as we walked to class. I didn't tell her about my wish though...

At around 5, Sara showed up at my house. We went trick-or treating and it was the same as yesterday, but we didn't stop at the old lady's house. We chomped our candy and slept over that night.

The next day, I woke up with Sara by my side. "Good morning, and happy Halloween!" she said. We went to school and ate our candy, and the day was the exact same as yesterday. The same thing happened again. And again. And again. And again. And...well you get the point. Everyone was getting sick from eating all of the candy every day! I decided to put a stop to this, and to do that I needed to get a wish candy from that lady again.

As you know, we were no longer stopping at the house that held the wish candy, but I had a plan. I asked Sara for her shiny blue candy. "I already ate it," she told me. "OH NO!" I yelled. "I need that candy! Have you made a wish on it yet?" I asked. "No..."she said. "Quick! Make a wish, just think in your head "STOPPPPPP DAPHNE'S WISH!" she did, and I finished my day waiting for it to end.

I woke with a gasp, remembering what me and Sara did yesterday. Running to the kitchen, I saw my mom making breakfast. "Happy day after Halloween!" she said. I sighed in relief.

We received several stories we received from S from the Pristine academy in Ballia in India
Adhrit’s story was about a two friends - one of whom was afraid of Halloween - and the other who had a pumpkin army that protected him. We really liked it.
And Shuarya sent us a story about a truck driver on his way to Ballia at night.
Sakshi, wrote a story about a haunted bus. She also sent us a really cool picture - so do look out for that on the website.
And Anushka sent us a nice story about a Haunted Fort.
Thank you all of you !

Radhika Kulkarni sent us a story that we thought was very striking and original called the curse of the devil. It’s about a girl called Millie who accidentally told a devil about her greatest fear - being bullied at school - from then on the bullying got worse. It’s a story with some authentic psychology, so well done, though the ending is a bit dark.

Nayaab Suhel sent us a story set in France. Here’s a summary.

On Halloween night in Paris, after children finished trick-or-treating, an old man named Mr. Anderson encounters a lone boy named Jack, who claims to be the legendary "Jack the Stingy" from Irish tales. Jack transports Mr. Anderson to a surreal, pumpkin-dominated realm where he faces a series of harrowing challenges, Thank you Nayaab for that scary story.

Kusumita De who 14 years old from India sent us a really clever story set in London. We don’t have time to read it, but here’s an overview:

Fourteen-year-old Susan is left alone at home in Canary Wharf while her family is out. Enjoying her solitude, she's interrupted by a doorbell late at night. Answering it, she meets an old lady named Mrs. Brown from Baker Street, who hands her a pair of gold embroidery scissors belonging to their maid, Alice, and then mysteriously disappears. The next day, Alice is shocked by the appearance of the scissors and reveals that Mrs. Brown, her former employer, has been bedridden for years following an accident. Later, a note arrives stating that Mrs. Brown had passed away the previous night, leaving Susan and Alice stunned by the supernatural encounter.

Thank you Kusumita, it’s a clever plot and it was well written.

Josiah de Laura sent us a story that combined two great English Legends, Sir Lancelot and Robin Hood. Thank you Josiah for your story, The Cursed Hallows.

Thank you Oscar for Little ant and Gentle Mole Come alive, and hello to your dog, Mr Sausage

Sarah from India sent us a story about a Haunted well. It’s a little long for us, but here’s a summary.

Three friends, Bill, Jennie, and Greg, spend Halloween in a remote village known for its haunted well. During their stay.. One evening, they decide to visit the infamous well with the innkeeper, Mr. Crawley. They experience mysterious events around the well, including ghostly lights, voices, and chilling winds. The next day, they receive an ominous warning letter, urging them to stay away from the well. Despite the warning, Bill and Greg decide to investigate the well again. To their astonishment, they encounter a figure resembling Mr. Crawley. However, the figure reveals himself to be Mr. Crawley's twin brother, Patrick. Patrick confesses to orchestrating the mysterious events around the well as a prank, using his skills from the film industry. He had been playing recorded voices and using a battery-operated fan to create the chilling wind.

Thank you Sarah!

And I’m going to finish with a short story about a haunted Callar by Helena Eichlin

Emma had always been scared to go down the cellar stairs. But when, on the night before Halloween, her brother Samuel actually dared her to go down, SHE HAD HAD ENOUGH. It was at dinner when they were staring daggers at each other that he dared her. She got up, slamming her hands down on the table and making dishes rattle, and bellowed, ‘I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go! So you can forget about it!’

​‘Emma,’ her mother said quietly. Uh-oh. If there was anything worse than being yelled at, it was being talked to.

​‘I DON’T CARE!’ Emma exploded.

​‘Emma Rose Baker!’ Now they were both angry. Oops. ‘Go to your room this instant!’

​She obeyed, only stopping to hiss in her brother’s ear. ‘I’ll do it.’

A dinner in her room of rice and broccoli was not an enjoyable one. However, after dinner she had the satisfaction of her brother coming in to spit a heartless apology. ‘Mum says I’ve got to say sorry, but so do you. So sorry — not.’

​Emma got up, smiled primly, and shut the door in his face.

But on the night of Halloween, all this was forgotten. Except the dare. All watched as Emma descended the stairs. Darkness. Everywhere. She knew this was a bad idea. One step. One frantic sprint. She was in. She could smell cleaning products. She could hear only the slow drip…drip…drip of water from the ceiling. One more step. A chill ran down her spine. Her eyes darted around frantically. Another step. She bit her nail. Stupidly, she called ‘Hello...anyone?’

​No answer. She stopped. She gasped. She froze. Something was wrapping its icy fingers round her neck. She swallowed a scream. She waved her arms around frantically to fend off whoever or whatever it was. She turned, expecting to come face to face with her attacker, but instead she was just in time to see an old mop fall to the floor behind her with a clunk. At least her eyes had adjusted to the dark and she could see a little. Trembling, she took another step. Footprints. That was odd. She followed them. It must be a beast. A werewolf. A man-wolf. A regular wolf. One more step. Scratched cardboard. Definitely a wolf.

No. No. No. A growling in the distance. Another shaky step. Oh no. Oh dear. She’d better go. Another step. The growling grew louder. In the cupboard. That was where. She took another step. Slowly…slowly…she eased open the creaky cupboard door. And found…